2nds grab victory from jaws of defeat in Ickleford derby (but 1sts lose)
Match reports from the 2nd week of the 2017 SHCL, Sat May 13th, plus the 2nd round of the National Village Cup
Preston 1st XI v Ickleford 1st XI, SHCL Div 2A
Mark Waters reports.
Preston CC travelled to Ickleford CC for their first clash in the 2017 Saracens Herts League.
With directions from the score box, the 30 yard (or is it meters?) discs were laid out and the game saw Preston CC taking the field first. Ickleford openers Edwards and Hillyard set out to make life hard for the Preston attack.
Edwards fell LBW to Henry Morecroft having made a solid start, but it was Hillyard who played a sensible knock to steady the ship before falling for 42.
No 3 Krishnamurthy went on to make 56 after surviving a very healthy appeal for a thin edge behind. South African overseas Smit capitalised from some Preston frustration and loose bowling and made 64, having survived two hard chances. It was these two batsman – along with that sensible chanceless knock from the composed Hillyard – that created a solid core to the Ickelford innings.
Later, with two run outs and Preston Australian Blake Mills bowling accurately and with some pace at times, wickets started to fall frequently. However the damage was done – loose bowling and some tempers at times from the Preston bowlers getting the better of them and some loose ground fielding saw Ickelford close their innings on a substantial 258 all out.
Mills ended up with 4/57 off his 10 and was the pick of the Preston bowlers. Jimmy Stevens also bowled with some brisk to pick up 2/29 off 9.
Ickleford’s new ball attack brought a combination of medium pace form Morris and controlled spin from the reliable Marsden. Opener Jimmy Stevens was annoyingly run out off a mis-field that meant brother Jack had to start again. Some tight bowling from Marsden frustrated and restricted the usually freer hitting Preston top order. Jack Stevens batted well with determination for 62 supported by Dan Plumb (19) and Ben Hill (25), who again made good starts but didn’t go on.
Mills (35) also looked threatening with some big shots to keep the Preston innings in the game, if not slightly behind the rate. But after looking comfortable he got underneath one to be caught by Edwards for 35.
Hearne’s early departure then left too much to do for the Preston lower order and Preston’s innings closed too far short on 174. M. Marsden bowled a tight opening spell of slow bowling but it was brother Luke who picked up 4/36 off 10 and Jason Timm who picked up 4/54.
Ickleford earned their second win and keep a full house and sit joint top of Div 2. A well deserved win which capitalised on some loose overs from the Preston bowlers to post an aggressive score.
Preston must brush themselves off and prepare for next week. We learn from mistakes, but need to think harder about control when it doesn’t quite go to plan and regroup for next weeks’ match against Abbots Langley CC.
Preston 2nd XI v Ickleford 2nd XI, SHCL Div 5A
Report from Lard.
The Saturday 2nd XI’s home match versus Ickleford 2nds was characterised by some unlikely shifts of fortune, with first Preston’s innings recovering strongly from a poor start, then Ickleford’s subsiding from seemingly certain victory to a 41 run defeat.
As Preston chose to bat, Tom Lincoln went in Draper’s first over and the home side sank to 8-3 when the wily Crouch (2-12) claimed both Mercers with successive balls. Careful rebuilding from Callum Blair (45) and skipper Ash Catlin (40) gave Preston fresh hope and the middle order was able to exploit Ickleford’s weaker bowling options (20 overs for 143) to gather momentum. Central to these efforts was keeper Liam Kenna’s coming-of-age innings in Preston colours, his undefeated 75 being quick to punish any short bowling and coming, suitably enough, on his birthday (29*). With support from Casey Walker and George Constantinidi, Kenna led Preston to a total of 217-7.
Ickleford’s chase started well enough with sensible shot selection and running between the wickets, assisted by some timid fielding (six catching chances were to be missed during the innings), meaning that the target always looked achievable. Opener Giggle’s 86 was supported first by Wagstaff (25) then Riley (25) and at 154-2 with plenty of overs remaining an Ickleford victory seemed certain. Preston’s slower bowlers were able to exert some control though and as wickets began to fall, the careful accumulation of most of the innings was replaced by some attempted big hits. In a little more than 6 overs, Ickleford crashed from 170-3 to 176 all out with Catlin (4-33) and the returning Walker (3-30) trimming a lengthy Tigers’ tail.
30 Division 5A points for Preston but lots of improvements required for some of the stiffer challenges to come as the season progresses – fielding practice at 6.00 Tuesday tops the list!
Preston 3rd XI v North Mymms 3rd XI, SHCL Div 9B
Andrew Hedges and Dean Johnson were the heroes as the Thirds recorded their first victory in Div 9B, with Hedges achieving the rare feat of scoring a 50 and taking 5 wickets in the same match.
Preston were put into bat by North Mymms on a Whitwell wicket with extravagant variability in bounce. The new ball also swung in the air and seamed alarmingly, and Preston soon lost skipper John Garnham to another duck, caught behind. Matt Burleigh and Hedges put on 50 in 20 overs before Bomber got a nosebleed, tried an attacking shot, and was easily caught. Fortunately, Hedges was in fine form, putting away the bad ball while watchfully defending or avoiding the nastier deliveries. Hedges eventually fell for 55.
Richard Gatehouse and Greig Hearne both added some attractive boundaries to help push the score along, but it was Dean Johnson who anchored the rest of Preston’s innings with a fine 59. Some quick runs at the end from Tom Maxwell and Iain Purton enabled the Thirds to finish on 212-8 from 50 overs.
Mymms got off to a steady start, punctuated by the odd yahoo-ed 6 into the corn fields, and at 102-1 looked in good shape to attack the target. But it was Dean Johnson who began to peg them back, taking 2-30 in a miserly ten over spell. Then super-star Andrew Hedges was persuaded to bowl, and he obliged with 5 for 17 in 8 overs. Preston’s effort was aided by some excellent catching from Greig Hearne, Martin Pierce behind the sticks, and two superb catches above his head at cover by Iain Purton off Tom Maxwell (2 for 36 from 10 overs). Mymms were bowled out for 166 in the 46th over.
Preston 4th XI v Old Albanians 4th XI, Reg Div B East
Preston’s 4th XI were asked to bat first at Old Albanians on saturday. Despite seeing out the 40 overs, only 122 was posted with top scorer David Ogden contributing 21. The home side coasted home by 9 wickets. but some encouraging batting from teenagers Joe Clark and Luke Ponder was nice to see.
Preston v Langleybury, National Village Cup 2nd Round
In the 2nd round of The Cricketer National Village Cup on Sunday, Preston defeated Langleybury. Batting first, Preston’s top order spluttered to 91-6 after 27 overs, Dan Plumb making 34 before chipping an easy catch, having earlier got into a bit of a pickle to run out James Stevens for 22.
Thankfully, David Fleckney (34*) used all his experience to see the home side to 159 for 8 from their allotted 40 overs, helped by a watchful Pete Murrell (12) and some big hits from Max Anderson (14).
Langleybury were soon in trouble at 30 for 4, as Preston opened up with off spinner Jack Stevens (2 for 15) and Max Anderson (1 for 32). James Stevens then wrecked the visitors’ lower order with 4 for 16 in 8 overs, helped by Casey Walker (2 for 28), as Preston won by 32 runs.
Preston will meet either Northchurch or Blunham in the Beds & Herts region semi-final, to be played at home on May 28th.